Tianjin dialect

Tianjin Dialect

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Tianjin dialect

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Tianjin dialect () is a Mandarin dialect spoken in the urban area of Tianjin, China. It is comprehensible to speakers of other Mandarin dialects, though its greatest deviation from the others lies in its individual tones, and the lack of retroflex consonants. The regional characteristics make the dialect an important part of the Tianjin identity, and sharply contrasts itself to the dialect of nearby Beijing, despite relatively similar phonology.


The Tianjin dialect is classified under Jilu Mandarin, a subdivision of Mandarin Chinese also spoken in the provinces of Hebei and Shandong. Despite being a neighbour of Beijing, Tianjin dialect sounds very different from Beijing dialect, which is the basis for putonghua, the national standard used in the mainland.

The tones of Tianjin dialect correspond to those of Beijing dialect (and hence Putonghua) as follows:

The differences are minor except for the first tone: Where it is high and level in Beijing, it is low and falling in Tianjin. All words with the first tone, including the name "Tianjin", are affected, giving the Tianjin dialect a downward feel to people from Beijing.

Tianjin dialect also includes four tone sandhi rules, which outnumbers Beijing Mandarin's one. Here they are:
  1. Tone 1 + Tone 1 → Tone 3-Tone 1: 天津 |tiān jīn| is pronounced /tǐnjīn/ (using Pinyin tone diacritics)
  2. Tone 3 + Tone 3 → Tone 2-Tone 3: 水果 |shuǐ guǒ| is pronounced /shuíguǒ/
  3. Tone 4 + Tone 4 → Tone 1-Tone 4:......
  4. ...

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